This article examines the secession of Somaliland by exploring its historical, political, and legal foundations. It argues that secession was an inevitable result of the structural, political, and cultural context of the emergence and unification of the post-independence Somali state. The historical perspective helps explain not only the secession of Somaliland, but also how Somalia became a textbook example of a failed nation-state. The article starts with a general background on the modern social history of the Somali peninsula and analyses key moments, starting from the history of the formation of the modern state in British Protectorate Somaliland and Italian Somaliland until the establishment of Somalia as a unified nation-state. The article also discusses the motives of and obstacles to Somaliland's separation from Somalia in 1991 and evaluates the stances of the international community toward this secession.